|Sadef Ali Kully|
A fire destroyed parts of the long-closed Merrick Flea Market at Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton last week and the property manager from BP Real Estate Investors boarded up the windows for safety.
But residents and community leaders gathered Monday with Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), the FDNY and the city Department of Health to voice their concerns about a homeless man who has been squatting on and off for the last two years on the private property, the illegally parked cars for sale, dumped furniture and construction trash.
“It has become a dumping site, but more than that it has become a safety hazard, a nuisance and a health issue,” Dwight Johnson, president of the Federated Blocks of Laurelton, said. “It needs to be completely sealed off.”
The fire occurred Aug. 25, according to the FDNY, and there were no victims.
The squatter did not mind the city FDNY, the Council member or the DOH visiting the property where he has set up his home. He threw his sunglasses on and sat on a chair while blasting a R&B music from his radio. He had created a makeshift living room with an old red leather couch and bedroom with a dresser out of other people’s trash.